Chevron to buy Noble Energy in deal valued at $5 billion

Oil major Chevron has entered into a definitive agreement with Noble Energy to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Noble Energy in an all-stock transaction valued at $5 billion, or $10.38 per share.

Noble Energy's Leviathan platform in Israel
Noble Energy’s Leviathan platform in Israel; Source: Noble Energy

Based on Chevron’s closing price on 17 July 2020 and under the terms of the agreement, Noble Energy shareholders will receive 0.1191 shares of Chevron for each Noble Energy share, Chevron said on Monday.

The total enterprise value, including debt, of the transaction is $13 billion.

As explained by Chevron, the acquisition of Noble Energy provides Chevron with low-cost, proved reserves and attractive undeveloped resources that will enhance an already advantaged upstream portfolio.

Noble Energy brings low-capital, cash-generating offshore assets in Israel, strengthening Chevron’s position in the Eastern Mediterranean. Noble Energy also enhances Chevron’s U.S. unconventional position with de-risked acreage in the DJ Basin and 92,000 largely contiguous and adjacent acres in the Permian Basin.

“Our strong balance sheet and financial discipline gives us the flexibility to be a buyer of quality assets during these challenging times”, said Chevron Chairman and CEO Michael Wirth.

“This is a cost-effective opportunity for Chevron to acquire additional proved reserves and resources. Noble Energy’s multi-asset, high-quality portfolio will enhance geographic diversity, increase capital flexibility, and improve our ability to generate strong cash flow. These assets play to Chevron’s operational strengths, and the transaction underscores our commitment to capital discipline. We look forward to welcoming the Noble Energy team and shareholders to bring together the best of our organizations”.

Wirth concluded: “This combination is expected to unlock value for shareholders, generating anticipated annual run-rate cost synergies of approximately $300 million before tax, and it is expected to be accretive to free cash flow, earnings, and book returns one year after close”.

David Stover, Noble Energy’s Chairman and CEO, said: “The combination with Chevron is a compelling opportunity to join an admired global, diversified energy leader with a top-tier balance sheet and strong shareholder returns.

“Over the last few years, we have made significant progress executing our strategic objectives, including driving capital efficiency gains onshore, advancing our offshore conventional gas developments and significantly reducing our cost structure.

“As we looked to build on this positive momentum, the Noble Energy board of directors and management team conducted a thorough process and concluded that this transaction is the best way to maximize value for all Noble Energy shareholders”.

Benefits of the deal

Chevron said that one of the benefits of the transaction is that, based on Noble Energy’s proved reserves at year-end 2019, it will add approximately 18 per cent to Chevron’s year-end 2019 proved oil and gas reserves at an average acquisition cost of less than $5/boe, and almost 7 billion barrels of risked resource for less than $1.50/boe.

Noble Energy’s assets will enhance Chevron’s portfolio in the U.S. onshore and, internationally, in Israel and West Africa.

The transaction is expected to achieve run-rate operating and other cost synergies of $300 million before-tax within a year of closing.

The acquisition consideration is structured with 100 per cent stock utilizing Chevron’s attractive equity currency while maintaining a strong balance sheet.

In aggregate, upon closing of the transaction, Chevron will issue approximately 58 million shares of stock. The total enterprise value of $13 billion includes net debt and a book value of non-controlling interest.

Closure in 4Q 2020

The transaction has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2020.

The acquisition is subject to Noble Energy shareholder approval. It is also subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

The transaction price represents a premium of nearly 12 per cent on a 10-day average based on closing stock prices on 17 July 2020.

Following the closing of the transaction, Noble Energy shareholders will own approximately 3 per cent of the combined company.

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